The Stories Behind Valentine’s Day

When February hits, romance starts filling the air. Cards, chocolates, candies, sweet treats, flowers and thoughtful gifts occupy people’s minds. It can get a little nostalgic how romantic people can get all for Valentine’s Day. But did you ever wonder how Valentine’s Day started or how the world came to celebrate this day of hearts? And who is St. Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that has been celebrated for many centuries. The Romans celebrated it with their ancient rituals and Victorian England developed their customs for this holiday.

The History

The history of this long celebrated holiday and the story of St. Valentine are clouded with mystery. February as we all know and celebrated across the world as the romance month holds both ancient Roman and Christian traditions. But the question still remains. How did St. Valentine become connected with this ancient celebration?

Three saints with names Valentine or Valentinus is recognized by the Catholic Church, all of them were all martyrs. In one story, the legend goes that Valentine was a priest serving Rome in the 3rd century. At that time Emperor Claudius II believed that single men were better soldiers compared to those who had wives and families therefore he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine saw the injustice of such ruling of the emperor and defied him by continuing to marry young lovers secretly. Emperor Claudius II was outraged after learning about Valentine’s defiance and ordered that he be put to death.

From Your Valentine

Some stories believe that Valentine was put to death because he aided Christians escaping the Roman prisons. It has been said that Roman prisons were very harsh, carrying tortures and beatings. One story suggests that it was Valentine himself who sent out the very first Valentine greeting to a young girl whom he fell in love with during his time in prison. Legend has it that the young girl was the daughter of Valentine’s jailor. The girl often paid Valentine a visit in prison and before his death, Valentine sent out a letter to her which was signed “From your Valentine”. This expression still lives on today and many still sign Valentine’s Day cards with “from your Valentine”.

Up until today, the real story of St. Valentine is still not clear. However all stories pertaining to him speak of heroism, sympathy and of course romance. It was in the Middle Ages when the popularity of St Valentine rose and he became one of the most well-known saints in both England and France.

Today, the centuries old tradition, Valentine’s Day is still observed and it remains one of the most celebrated holidays around the world. February 14th is a day when love is celebrated all across the globe.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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